Ponteland Runners’ Returning to Run Sessions during Coronavirus Policy
Club Activity means any run training session or social run organised by the club’s run leaders or coaches on behalf of the club in which the Members participate.
Member(s) means any paid up member of the club including the coaches, run leaders, senior athletes, junior athletes. This also includes anyone visiting the club as a prospective member or otherwise and for the avoidance of any doubt, this includes junior members who do not pay membership fees by virtue of the fact that their parent(s) is a paying club member.
Return to Activity Statement means the statements at the end of this document which Members agree to comply with before attending Club Activities.
Policy Statement & Purpose of this Document
The health and safety of the club’s Members, leaders and coaches is paramount. This document aims to ensure that both government guidance and England Athletics Guidance is met by Ponteland Runners upon returning to run sessions during the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the documents is to set out how Ponteland Runners and its Members will comply with relevant guidance in its return to Club Activities, and includes procedures and instructions that Members are required to follow.
It is imperative that Members comply with this policy document and the Return to Activity Statement. Any Member attending Club Activities is deemed to have agreed with the Return to Activity Statement which accompanies this policy document. Any member who does not comply with this policy document and the Return to Activity Statement may be prevented from attending Club Activities until such time as the Club Activities return to normal. The decision to remove any person from participating in Club Activities will be at the sole discretion of the club’s committee members.
A coronavirus risk assessment has been prepared alongside this policy.
This policy has been developed in accordance with England Athletics and Government Guidelines and with particular consideration of the following website and the documents referred to therein – https://www.englandathletics.org/athletics-and-running/news/guidance-update-2021/. The policy will be updated in accordance with changes in government and England Athletics guidance as and when required.
This policy is dated 25.03.21.
Abby Dorani is the club’s Covid-19 Co-Ordinator, as required by England Athletics. The Covid-19 Co-ordinator is responsible for the club’s plan for resuming and carrying out Club Activities, and for undertaking the relevant risk assessments, with input from other club committee members and Members as appropriate. The plan and risk assessments must be in place before Club Activities Resume in order to prevent the invalidation of the club’s insurance with England Athletics.
The Covid-19 Co-Ordinator may require the club’s coaches and run leaders to prepare risk assessments for their own Club Activities, which will need to be presented to and agreed with the Covid-19 Co-Ordinator in advance of carrying out the Club Activity.
The Covid-19 Co-Ordinator will also act as a point of contact for Members should they have any enquiries or require advice in relation to the club’s Coronavirus plans and risk assessments. Members can contact Abby at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Responsibility of Members when deciding to attend Club Activities
All Members must use their own judgment when deciding whether or not it is safe for them to attend Club Activities, in particular those who are considered “Clinically Vulnerable” as defined by the NHS (see the following link for the definition – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/) and those who have been advised to shield.
Anyone displaying symptoms of or who has tested positive for Coronavirus, who lives with someone who is displaying symptoms of or has tested positive for Coronavirus, or who has been in close contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of or has tested positive for Coronavirus must not attend Club Activities and must follow the Government Guidelines on isolation at that time. Please see the following link for further information – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/.
The Club requests that Members who are injured or ill (with coronavirus or otherwise) avoid Club Activities. The rationale behind this is that not only is it best practice to avoid training for the recovery of injury, but that if a Member does require assistance as a result of that injury or illness during the Club Activity, this may require other Members to abandon social distancing rules to provide help, thus increasing the risk of coronavirus spreading.
Responsibilities of Members attending Club Activities
When attending and participating in Club Activities Members must:
- Adhere to this document and the accompanying risk assessment along with Government Guidelines and read the Return to Activity Statement before participating in any Club Activity. Attendance at any Club Activity is deemed as agreement to the Return Activity Statement.
- Adhere to group size rules, which at the time of writing must be no more than 10 people (which will be made up of one run leader or coach and nine other Members). Any group size changes will be communicated to members at the relevant time.
- Adhere to social distancing rules, which under England Athletics Guidelines at the time of publishing this document require Members who are not from the same household to keep a distance of 2 metres. Members must prioritise social distancing rules over their running at Club Activities and therefore be prepared to go single file, stop or slow down when required to ensure there is a 2 metre gap maintained.
- Follow all hygiene guidance and wash hands before attending a Club Activity.
- Bring Hand sanitizer and/or antibacterial wipes to the Club Activity and use them before and after engaging in the Club Activity. It is strongly recommended that hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes are carried by each person during the session in case any event occurs that may have led to contamination.
- Consider carrying a face mask and gloves on the Club Activity in case you are injured and require assistance, or in the event that someone else is injured and you are assisting them. It is strongly recommended that a face mask and gloves is carried by each member. Please review the section on face masks and gloves later in this document.
- Clearly label any drinks bottles or nutrition that is brought by you to the Club Activity to prevent any confusion or handling by other Members.
- Leave the area promptly after the Club Activity and avoid gathering with other Members before and after the Club Activity.
- Follow instructions and guidance given by Run Leaders and Coaches leading the Club Activity.
- Provide the Club Committee with up to date health information. Please review the paragraph towards the end of this document entitled ‘Participant Health Questionnaire’.
Members must not:
- Attend a Club Activity when they are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus or when a member of their household is experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus until they have completed the relevant period of isolation as per government guidelines.
- Attend a Club Activity if they have tested positive for coronavirus, or a member of their household has tested positive for coronavirus until they have completed the relevant period of isolation as per government guidelines. Similarly, Members must not attend if they have been in close contact with someone with Coronavirus and are undergoing a period of isolation as per government guidelines.
- Attend a Club Activity if they are otherwise required to isolate in accordance with government guidelines, for example if they have been in contact with an individual that has tested positive and are therefore required to isolate.
- Touch any equipment used during the Club Activity. The exception to this is the Run Leader or Coach who is responsible for transporting, laying out and collecting any equipment used and for cleaning down any equipment before and after the Club Activity. Where possible, use of equipment should be avoided.
- Travel to or from Club Activities with people outside of their household or ‘social bubble’.
- Congregate before or after the Club Activity for longer than necessary to enable the Club Activity to start and finish.
- Attend a Club Activity that they have not signed up to via the RunTogether app (see below for further details) to avoid the risk of having too many attendees for the limited group sizes.
Members must also be aware that changing and toilet facilities will not be available.
Coaches, Run Leaders and First Aiders
Coaches and run leaders will be responsible for coordinating a response and ensuring that appropriate assistance is sought in the event that a club Member falls ill or is injured during a club session, including seeking expert medical help. Reasonable steps should be taken where possible to minimise the risk of spreading Coronavirus by anyone attending to the injured or ill runner, including the wearing of face masks and gloves. If a first aider is present, then they may assist the coach or run leader in determining and/or actioning the appropriate response to the situation at hand. Coaches and Run Leaders should carry a mobile phone on their person in order that they may contact an ill or injured persons emergency contact or to call for medical help. Emergency numbers will be available to the Run Leaders via the RunTogether App.
Coaches and run leaders who require equipment during a Club Activity may use it, but where possible it should be avoided to reduce the risk of the equipment being touched or otherwise contaminated. If equipment is required, the run leader or coach should clean it before and after the session, and should be the only person to touch the equipment during the Club Activity.
Additional measures have been identified in the Club’s coronavirus risk assessment that the Run Leaders and Coaches must familiarise themselves with.
Face masks and gloves in the event of Injury and Illness of Members during Club Activity
It is strongly recommended that all Members carry a face mask and gloves, and also consider carrying antibacterial gel or wipes. The rationale behind this is that when a Member is injured or ill during a Club Activity they may require assistance and it therefore may be necessary for individuals to break social distancing rules to provide close contact assistance. To minimise the risk of the virus spreading, the injured or ill individual should (where possible) put on a mask and gloves before receiving assistance, and any person attending to the injured or ill individual should do the same where possible before providing assistance. Where possible, antibacterial gel or wipes should be used immediately after assistance is given, or, if required, during.
Run leaders and coaches will deliver run sessions in groups of no more than ten, including themselves, and Members are required to keep a social distance of 2m between them at all times. It will be imperative to follow social distancing guidelines throughout the course of the session, including during the warm up and cool down sections. We have identified quiet locations to carry out the sessions in order to avoid heavily congested pedestrian or vehicle areas, which should in turn make it easier to social distance. However, it will be necessary for all Members attending these sessions to be prepared to prioritise social distancing at all times, in relation to each other and any passers-by. This may require Members to slow down or stop during the run, including during intervals, to ensure a safe distance can be maintained.
The Club may organise steady social runs. As with interval sessions, these will be delivered in groups of no more than ten, including a leader or coach. Members are required to keep a social distance of 2m between them at all times and will have to follow social distancing guidelines throughout the course of the run. It will be necessary for all Members attending these runs to be prepared to prioritise social distancing at all times, in relation to each other and passers-by. This may require Members to slow down or stop during the run, or to go single file, to ensure a safe distance can be maintained.
Times and Locations
The Club will endeavour to deliver Club Activities on the usual club days, Mondays and Wednesday, but Club Activities may also be provided on other days of the week. This is so that as many groups as possible can be available each week during the time when group sizes are limited, and to assist with social distancing. The Club may provide sessions at a variety of times, and may stagger the start times in order to avoid large groups congregating in one location.
The Club has identified, and will continue to identify in conjunction with the coaches and leaders, suitable locations for Club Activities to take place. Club Activities may be located in new areas or start from different locations other than Ponteland Leisure Centre.
Start times and locations will be available on RunTogether and the RunTogether links will be communicated to Members by the Club.
Signing up to attend Club Activities
It will be necessary to monitor group sizes to adhere to social distancing guidelines (at present groups of no more than 10 are permitted) and Members will be asked to sign up in advance for Club Activities via the RunTogether website or App. Instructions will be circulated to all Members on how to do so.
In order to give all Members a fair opportunity to attend Club Activities, Members may be required to limit the amount of Club Activity in any given time period, for example one Club Activity per week.
Participant Health Questionnaire
To comply with England Athletics’ guidelines when we are increasing the number of attendees in a group beyond six, we must ensure that we are holding up to date health information for members. Members are asked to provide medical health information when joining the club, and so it is now a requirement that all Members must inform us of any relevant changes to their health since joining the Club. Examples of the conditions/circumstances in which we should be provided with up to date health information include, but are not limited to, the following points:
- Do you have any form of under lying illness, such as:
- Immune deficiency
- Receiving any form of medication that might affect you during the session
- Do you have chest pain when performing physical activity?
- Are you pregnant or have you given birth in the last 6 months?
- Do you have a bone or joint problem that causes you pain when exercising?
- Have you had recent surgery?
- Do you have any other limitations that must be addressed when considering an exercise plan, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis or back problems?
- Are you receiving any form of medication that might affect you during the session?
Please contact Abby at email@example.com to update your health information. We may ask you to confirm whether you are well enough to continue with Club Activities at present, and if you are unsure you will be asked to seek medical advice from your GP.
Return to Activity Statement
Before participating in any Club Activity, each Member is required to read the statements below, which collectively are referred to as the ‘Return to Activity Statement’. Attendance at each Club Activity is deemed acceptance and agreement of the Return to Activity Statement.
By attending a Club Activity, the Member confirms and agrees that:
- They have read the club’s coronavirus policy and procedures document and agree to adhere to the terms set out within each;
- They will not attend any Club Activity if they are experiencing or displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus until such times as they have finished the necessary period of isolation as per government guidelines;
- They will not attend any Club Activity if any person that they live with or who they have had close contact with is experiencing or displaying any symptoms of Coronavirus until such time as they have finished the necessary period of isolation as per government guidelines;
- They are otherwise fit and well to attend Club Activities;
- They will adhere to guidelines set by England Athletics, the Government and the Club’s committee in respect of social distancing;
- They will not congregate in groups larger than those allowed by the Government Guidelines;
- They are attending the Club Activity at their own risk, in particular if they are considered to be ‘Clinically Vulnerable’ as defined by the NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/people-at-higher-risk/whos-at-higher-risk-from-coronavirus/.; and
- In the event of injury or illness, they will not attend a Club Activity as there is a risk that participation in that Club Activity will result in assistance being required from other Members, which could increase the risk of the virus spreading.